Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, Scuttlebutt Europe is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to

Different Weather Systems For Hugo Boss And Banque Populaire
Banque Populaire VIII and Hugo Boss are now sailing in two different weather systems. They have a high pressure ridge between them.

Hugo Boss should finally get rid at the end of the day of the small low pressure system which will have slowed Thomson down a lot for the last 3 days while Banque Populaire seems to have suceeded in the transition between the border of the high pressure system and the North West of the Low pressure system which moves towards Cape Horn. The speedo should thus display high speeds for Armel le Cleac'h during the next hours.

From this evening, both leaders will sail in a different weather system. The forecast for tomorrow shows that they will be on both sides of a ridge of high pressure (zone in blue to the South of the High Pressure H).

Top ten positions in the Vendee Globe:
1. Armel Le Cleac'h / Banque Populaire VIII, 8716 nm to finish
2. Alex Thomson / Hugo Boss, 511 nm to leader
3. Paul Meilhat / SMA, 1303
4. Jeremie Beyou / Maitre CoQ, 1334
5. Jean-Pierre Dick / StMichel - Virbac, 1957
6. Yann Elies / Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, 1977
7. Jean Le Cam / Finistere Mer Vent, 2006
8. Thomas Ruyant / Le Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine, 3085
9. Louis Burton / Bureau Vallee, 3393
10. Nandor Fa / Spirit of Hungary, 3941

Mast Back In Ludde Invall's CQS
Sydney, Australia: The mast has been installed back into Ludde Invall's CQS in preparation for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, after routine maintenance and some minor modifications.

Ludde thanked his team and staff from Hall spars for their work to ensure the mast is in first class condition going into the race on Boxing Day, "they have worked hard over the past few days, and checked the spar and rigging from top to bottom, we have made some minor modifications to the halyard lock."

The boat was taken from its berth at Birkenhead Point Marina to White Bay on Saturday afternoon, just upstream of the Harbour Bridge, when a large crane lifted the 37.5 metre long spar into place.

The boat then returned to its berth, and on Sunday friends and family will get a chance to look at the boat before training resumes on Monday.

Ludde emphasised that there is still a lot of work to do as they prepare for the big race, but he becomes more confident each day that the huge rebuild that has taken almost a year has been worthwhile. "All we have to do is learn how to sail the boat to its full potential, and the Rolex Sydney Hobart race will be part of that learning curve."

Seahorse January 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Vendee here Vendee there, but right now there is no bigger story in sailboat racing, not just the sailors and the race but the technical developments that promise - or threaten - to reshape offshore monohull racing. Plus 'almost' a TP52 and winning in Toulon. Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis, Carlos Pich, Nathan Outteridge, Gavin Brady

Different then and now... well, soon it could be, Vendee admirers, a (big) first for DSS and Ludde Ingvall's latest machine... brilliant or bonkers? Brett Bakewell-White, Jack Griffin, Frederic Augendre, Jon Roberson and Terry Hutchinson

Paul Cayard
Beware those laws of unintended consequences...

World Sailing
No quick fixes... Malcolm Page

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Proud Dad Enjoys Son's Record
This year Brad Kellett will set a record no-one will ever beat when he becomes the youngest sailor ever to sail 25 consecutive Sydney Hobart Yacht Races.

"Twenty five races was a milestone I always wanted to achieve when I was young," Brad says, "but to tell the truth, I haven't really thought about it along the way. When it did start to come up towards 25, I thought I might as well - and now I'm really looking forward to it.

"Because I was so young when I did my first (16), and now you're not allowed to compete before you're 18, so I guess my record will never be broken."

Brad reckons it was ever going to be thus. As the son of the renowned David Kellett the Hobart race was always in his blood.

David is one of the great figures of the modern Sydney Hobart. For the past 11 years he has been chaperoning the fleet down to Hobart on the Radio Relay Vessel, but before that, as sailing master/skipper of some of Australia's great maxis, his name was synonymous with boats like Gretel, Vengeance, Sovereign and Condor as he made his way to his 31st Hobart.

Brad was a crew member aboard 'Sydney' in 1998 when David did his 25th race. Now the father will relay the scheds from the son when Brad calls in from the super maxi Perpetual LOYAL. -- Jim Gale, RSHYR media

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race's Weather Outlook Still Clouded
Eight days out from the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart race and there is no solid indication as to what weather pattern the 91-yacht fleet will experience.

This morning, Australia's internationally acclaimed yachting meteorologist, Roger Badham, had one message for all crews in the 628-nautical mile classic: "In the past two days the two main long range weather models have swapped their outlooks. That's come about because of the complexity of the developing weather. All I can say is, don't read too much into it yet because things are certain to change again."

However, Badham added that the one likely scenario at this time was that race record holder, Wild Oats XI, or one to the three other supermaxis in the fleet, could set a record for the course. "Today the indications are that there will be a solid north-easterly wind at start time, so the yachts should enjoy fast sailing south from Sydney. However there is the chance for an explosive frontal low to develop in the Tasman Sea the first afternoon. But it would only be short-lived; the big boats would be back on record pace very quickly."

The Oatley family's Wild Oat's XI will this year be going for her ninth line honours in 12 starts in the Hobart race. The 30-metre long "Silver Bullet" has broken the course record on two occasions, her latest mark being 1 day 18 hours 23 minutes and 12 seconds, which was set in 2012.

Badham's current projections indicate the first of the big boats will reach the finish line on Hobart's Derwent River in about one day 15 hours. -- Rob Mundle

Farr 40 Pittwater One Design Trophy
Jeff Carter's Edake and Martin Hill's Estate Master staged a mighty final charge for supremacy in the deciding race of the Farr 40 Pittwater One Design Trophy, Estate Master's fourth place to Edake's sixth gifting them a narrow series victory.

Edake is pronounced 'Ed-ache', a play on the word headache, which is exactly what Carter, his new tactician this season, Steve Thomas, and the crew were to Estate Master as they set about dismantling the latter's handy day one lead. Team Edake remained consistent as results swung wildly for many boats in the up and down pressure on an inshore course - until race eight when they too felt the pain of a high score and worse, finishing two places behind Estate Master which cost them the overall win.

The next event for the Farr 40 fleet is the Newcastle One Design Trophy January 21-22, 2017 which leads into the NSW State Title in February and National Championships: John Calvert-Jones Trophy in March.

Full results:

World Sailing Publishes Youth Olympic Games Equipment Limitations For Kiteboarding
World Sailing has published the equipment limitations to the kiteboarding events in the Youth Olympic Games 2018. The formats for all events (including kiteboarding, windsurfing and mixed multihull) will be published in a separate document, however for kiteboarding the format will be downwind slalom / boardercross, with obstacles added to the course depending on the wind strength.

The key equipment limitations are:
- Only series production registered equipment (boards and kites)
- Only leading edge inflatable kites
- Only Twin Tip boards
- One hull and four kites (in four size categories) registered per event

The above limitations apply only to the Youth Olympic Games and YOG qualifier events. The class rules including all changes will be published by the end of January.

The full World Sailing Document and the YOG qualification system can be found here

Sail Sydney 2016 Concludes With The Nacra 17s On Show
In their Sail Sydney debut, the Nacra 17 fleet impressed on the final day of competition. Today on the harbour Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland won the inaugural class title on count back.

For the remainder of the classes, Sail Sydney wrapped up for another year with Principal Race Officer, Colin Chidgey happy with the way competitors and volunteers managed the four day event.

"Conditions were tricky at times during the regatta and with the second half of the second day postponed we really wanted to get as many races in as we could on the Saturday," Colin said. "The sun was out on Saturday and it was a huge day, our Race Officers, Volunteers and Club Staff all did a brilliant job coordinating not only Saturday but every day throughout the regatta and even prior to the event."

Sunday morning sailing welcomed competitors with grey skies and good breeze provided great racing conditions.

Tasar sailors made the most of conditions with Darryl Bentley and Rick Longbottom picking the shifts and pressure to post three wins from six races. Darryl and Rick are the reigning 2015 Sail Sydney Champions and enjoyed the event this year.

The Sabots sped across the Harbour completing four races today with Brin Liddell winning three of them to take the Sail Sydney 2016 crown.

The NSW Pacer State Championships were held in conjunction with Sail Sydney, Dallas Yan and Jarrod Khaw were the best of the fleet winning all five races completed.

Full results:

Optimist Intermediate
Optimist Open
Flying 11s
Optimist Green Fleet

They're Off: IDEC Sport Has Begun Her Attempt To Win The Jules Verne Trophy
At 08:19:00 UTC* in the first glimmer of light this Friday, IDEC SPORT crossed the start line off Ushant at more than twenty knots in her dash to grab the outright round the world record. The six men on board have to be back by 22:00:53 UTC on Monday 30th January to improve on the time set in January 2012 by Loïck Peyron's crew and see their name inscribed on the famous Trophy.

After gathering on the pontoon very early this morning, the crew of IDEC SPORT were clearly eager to get going and did not hang around in the dark of night. Under the watchful gaze of the Abeille Bourbon tug, Francis Joyon, Alex Pella, Gwenole Gahinet, Clement Surtel, Sebastien Audigane and Bernard Stamm left the harbour in Brest at 0530 UTC to make their way aboard the red and grey trimaran to the start line for the Jules Verne Trophy.

* The precise time awaits ratification from the WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council)

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From DM Street Jr. of Iolaire and L'll Iolaire, both green boats:

At the prize giving of the ARC there was unhappiness about the amount of declared engine time declared by the winner.

Why not have two GREEN divisions in the ARC, one for multihulls, one for monohulls. Engines are not needed to produce electricity at sea.

From 1974 until 2007 when we installed a desiel electric system that we thought would regenerate... it did not, the 46 ' engineless yawl Iolaire built 1905, did seven transatlantics between 1975 and 95. On the first two electricity was produced by the late Hugh Methewerth's expiremental wind generartor which became the well known Ampair. The next five trips Iolaire's electricity was produce by Ampair wind and taffrail generators. This produced enough amperage to produce cold beer all the time.

For those who have followed my writings in books,articles and letters to editors, they will note shaft driven generators have been around for sixty seven years and I have been actively pushing the idea for fifty two years.

Lange Zyne 36'Block Island ketch, in 1949/50 sailed around the world with a shaft generator that produced enough amperage to run both electric fridge and auto pilot. In 79 Agwebe a 45' South African sloop showed up in Grenada with a shaft driven generator that produced 30 amps at 12volts at 6 kts. Steve Dashew, installed a wing mount 12" prop driving an alternator that cut in at low rpm that produced more amperage than he could use. Lone Star 54' ketch built in 84 in Mashford brothers Crymell has circumnavigate the globe and south America with a shaft driven alternator.

The new watts and sea unit puts out more amperage than the average yacht can use. There are now highly efficient wind chargers and solar panels out put seems to be improving drastically.

The time has come for the ARC to start two GREEN divisions, one for multihulls, another for mono hulls, for boats that complete the ARC without using either their engines or generators to provide electricity. The ARC should talk the various companies that provide green energy to yachts to put up cash prizes for the winners of each division.

Doing so would really increase interest in sailors crossing oceans with ZERO carbon emissions!!!

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This is hull # 96 and has always been very well maintained by her three owners.She was first built as SAMBA PA TI and then she was named TWINS. Her current owner has not used her for several years, but she is located in Portsmouth Rhode Island, has been under shrink wrap and has a Captain maintain her. In her inventory are many North sails, with several 1st string primary racing sails, having never been out of the bags! If one is in the market for a very nice and lightly used Farr 40, DARKSIDE could be the weapon of choice.

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